STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Granite Shoals is holding a town hall June 1 over its deer management program. Officials will answer technical and legal questions as well as provide a general overview of the program, which is coming up on its fourth year.
The city’s Wildlife Advisory Committee is hosting the town hall, which is Saturday from 9-11 AM at the Granite Shoals Fire Hall, 8410 RR 1431 West.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff will join committee chairman Jason Brady for the presentation. TPWD helped the city create the program to address the overpopulation of white-tailed deer within the city limits.
“Biologists from the Texas Parks and Wildlife will answer questions that are more technical than we are able to answer,” Brady said. “Game wardens will answer the legal questions that arise from harvesting the deer.”
Brady will explain the program and its goals and provide overall statistics from the past three years.
He said the committee’s first concern is educating residents about the program and letting them know how they can get involved.
“Public education is our number one focus,” he said. “To get our citizens involved, to answer questions, and education.”
The current Granite Shoals deer management program uses hunters to harvest deer within the city limits. A hunter must pass a written exam as well as a shooting proficiency test to be eligible. In the past, hunters were able to use most types of bows; now, however, the program requires participants use a crossbow with a minimum 120-pound draw weight.
Though it’s a city of Granite Shoals program, hunters don’t have to reside there to participate. They must, however, meet the following criteria:
- be at least 21 years old;
- use a crossbow with a minimum 120-pound draw weight;
- have a Texas hunting license;
- possess a cellphone or smartphone capable of texting and taking photos;
- possess a Texas bow hunter education certificate;
- hold a valid driver’s license;
- attend an overview of the wildlife management program;
- pass two exams: one a written, 15-question test and the other a shooting proficiency test;
- pass monthly proficiency exams;
- and attend monthly program meetings.
The deer management program runs October through February and falls under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Managed Land Deer Permit program.
Hunters can keep the venison they harvest as well as donate it to local food pantries. They cannot sell the meat.
Brady welcomes anyone who has an interest in learning more about the committee and its work to attend the June 1 town hall.
“If there are some folks out there who see it and are willing to put the time and effort in, we’re hoping to talk to them,” he said. “We’ll tell them the ins and outs of the program, about the harvest part of it.”
Go to graniteshoals.org for more information.